TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- At least the Stanford baseball team made things interesting before bowing out of its NCAA Super Regional with an 18-7 loss to Florida State on Sunday.
Trailing by eight runs, the Cardinal rallied for four in the bottom of the seventh inning and brought the potential tying run to the plate. But No. 3 hitter Stephen Piscotty, who had hits in all four of his previous at-bats, hit a 1-1 pitch right at third baseman Sherman Johnson, who forced out the runner at third to end the inning.
The Seminoles (48-15) then blew it open with an eight-run eighth inning and cruised to a spot in the College World Series while ending Stanford's season.
"We didn't quit," Piscotty said. "I would have traded all four of the hits for that at-bat. It's tough. I am just so proud of the way our team played."
Stanford was crushed 17-1 in the series opener Friday, but, after Game 2 was postponed a day by rain, appeared to have the sharper lineup Sunday. The Cardinal (41-18) peppered Florida State starter Mike Compton for 11 hits in four innings and finished with 18 hits for the game.
But Stanford ended threats in the third, fourth and fifth innings by grounding into double plays -- twice with a runner on third.
"They made some very good defensive plays," said Stanford coach Mark Marquess, who saw his team strand 14 runners. "We hit into more double plays in these two days than we did in 30 games. A lot of that has to do with them.
Stanford again was hurt by uncharacteristically poor starting pitching. Two days after ace Mark Appel delivered his worst start of the season, Brett Mooneyham was even less effective.
The junior left-hander recorded just three outs and was pulled after facing three batters in the second inning.
"We just couldn't stay with them," Marquess said. "They just beat us. They did a great job. We couldn't contain them. They got some big hits tonight right off the bat -- the two home runs early. Two swings of the bat, they got five runs. We had a chance; they got some hits. We came back and got guys on base late in the game. Again, we got close, and they came up with a couple of hits and just ran away from us."